Originally Posted by Alex-SG
Agree with Westy. Ability to stroke faster has nothing to do (in my opinion) with arm strength. As Cathy suggested in an earler post, you just have to learn to get the recovery arm forward faster. You should not have any pause after your pull.
Comfort Zone: Based on what I read in the FORUM do not settle on anything slower than SR=1.5 (even SR=1.4, which is Shinji's slow pace). Unless your are specifically working on balance. Slow Stroke rate means loss of momentume (come to a stop, accelerate again, come to a stop....)
Agree with Westy and Alex-SG. No need for bending iron. Stroke rate doesn't depend on strength. But it depends on energy spent: I've read that doubling your stroke rate multiplies the energy used by power of 2, so you need four times the energy when going down from 1.6 to 0.8 ;-)
If you are comfortable at 1.6 you could go like this (count your strokes):
Here your stroke count should be a little lower than when you started
After a while you will end here with the same stroke count that you had when you started one second slower. Then you can shift this window slowly downwards. You will see that you get used to the higher rates quite easily.
I used to have my comfort zone at around 1.2 - 1.3, and once in a blue moon walked myself down the TT ladder and usually got stuck at 0.8 where my stroke would break down. But when I was resting at the wall with the TT beeping at 0.8 I saw that there were several amateur swimmers (like me) with bad stroke patterns (unlike me ?!?) who were always swimming with that stroke rate or even faster.
At the moment I swim really slow due to imprinting nice breathing patterns, I am at around 1.6 or 1.7. I had to get used to that slow speed! After doing that for a while going fast feels like an incredible hurry. But I agree that it is very difficult to swim perpetual at that slow rate. When I am in the shallow pool I can see the deceleration in that rather long glide quite clearly by seeing the tiles passing by below me decelarating and accelerating.
Hang on in there ... and enjoy it!